Happy Birthday to me and FT-710 Day 2

For my birthday, my wife bought me a JackTite 31′ pushup pole. I’ve had my Mfj-1910 pole for about 15 years and bought it used for $25. On my last outing, the joints were starting to slip. This time I went with JackTite. It’s a 31′ pole instead of a 33′ but it has a sturdier tip.

The MFJ is above and the JackTite is below. Overall they are about the same size.

The only mod I did was add some Gorilla Tape where the pole rubbed against my trailer hitch flagpole holder. Hoisting up a 12ga insulated antenna wire the tip does have a little sag but not near as much as the MFJ.

I normally tape the wire to the pole at the top three sections using a little electrical tape. 3M Super 88 is my go-to. The joints are tight and secure and the JackTite has a sturdier construction than the MFJ. I will take it out on my next camping trip. I’ll keep the MFJ as a spare.

Update on the FT-710. Yesterday, I spent the day setting up the radio. I’m not much of a tweaker once I get things set up, I get on the radio to operate and make contacts. If you look at military or commercial HF rigs, there is very little to tweak. I think I am close to where I like it. One very frustrating issue was getting the radio to operate FT8. I got everything to work except the audio on transmit. The software would key the radio, but no sound. I turned on the monitor and could hear it through the speakers, but the radio would not transmit it. so zero watts out. I worked on this for a couple of hours. Finally, I checked to see if there was a firmware update and there was. Duh, I know! The update fixed the issue, but really! The radio should have never left the factory like that. With the popularity of digital modes, that should have been a priority. Come on Yaesu!

On a good note, my first contact on FT8 was Turkey. First (or second) impressions. My intended use for this radio is a field radio and as such, it will work fine. My other radio is my trusted IC-7300. I’ve had the Icom for 7 years now and know it quite well. My field box is set up in such a way that to swap the radios out for a trip, all I have to do is swap the radio and the microphone and I am good to go. I pretty much bring the same things every time I go out. I am involved in EmComm and it pays to know your gear.

Where does the FT-710 fit in? I always thought that comparing the IC-7300 to the FTDX10 was unfair, but a lot of people did, and that should tell you how people think about the radio. I don’t think anybody will be comparing the FT-710 to the IC-7610. Today, I would place the FT-710 slightly behind the IC-7300. They are both good radios and if you are married to one manufacturer, then by all means stick with that brand. I have 2 Icoms and now I have 2 Yaesu’s, The FT-710 and IC-7300 will be my field radios. Currently, I do not have any intention of selling either one. Like the FTDX10, the FT-710 will be a long-term review. I wouldn’t worry about the Rob Sherwood numbers too much; it would be rare that the FT-710 would need that kind of filtering horsepower. The IC-7300 will hear everything the FT-710 will hear. I am looking forward to bringing the FT-710 on my next trip. 73 — Scott

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